"Alexa, What are the Fastest-Falling Names of the Year?"
Baby names usually follow the maxim that "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Even the name Harvey—our 2017 Name of the Year based on the double-whammy of Hurricane Harvey and Harvey Weinstein—rose by 10% last year. But it appears that there are limits. Parents shy away from a name that takes orders.
2017 was a big year for virtual assistants. Alexa, the Amazon product, became far more common (and more controversial) in 2017...and Alexa the baby name plummeted. So did Alexis, a turn-of-the-millennium favorite whose decline has been hastened by association. Meanwhile Apple's popular intelligent assistant has failed to launch the baby name Siri into American use.
Alexa, via amazon.com
What sets these products apart from others is the way we interact with them: by name. Imagine being a human Alexa in a household where people are constantly addressing the electronic version. Then consider that when we say "Alexa" or "Siri," we're inevitably issuing a command. Amazon has built in a way to change the name of your own device, but in other settings an Alexa is likely to find herself accidentally ordered around.
The full list of the fastest-falling names of the year:
#1: Jase (M). Jase and Jayceon were the fastest-rising boys' names of 2013, boosted by reality tv stars Jase Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and Jayceon Taylor (Marrying the Game). Today, they're falling back to Earth. Jayceon ranked #9 on the falling list.
#2: Alexis (F).
#3: Kylie (F). While an initial burst of publicity is positive, ongoing Kardashian/Jenner-level publicity can leave a name feeling over-familiar. Kylie Jenner's name has apparently crossed that line with many parents; sister Kendall's name fell sharply as well.
#4: Alexa (F).
#5: Blake (M). The popularity of the boys' name Blake held remarkably steady for a generation, but it has recently taken a dive—despite a high-profile standard bearer in country singer Blake Shelton. The ever-growing ranks of girls named Blake are the likely reason.